THE BLOG
10/27/2014 01:42 pm ET Updated Dec 27, 2014

Chuck Self-Care: What Women Really Need Is Cave Time

Ever notice how the
moment
you say,
"Everything's great!"
this seems to trigger a
green light
for the
"Life Is About to Get Really Bad"
sign to go up
on your door?

A few months ago I had a flu
that completely knocked me out.

One night I was literally
bouncing up and down with energy,
making my kids their favorite tamari chicken
with fried onions,
dancing to Michael Franti's
"Everyone Deserves Music,"
Telling my cousin on the phone that
"Everything's great!"

A day later I had
102 fever
and every bone in my body
felt like it had been
run over by a tractor.

I could do nothing.

Doing nothing for a person like me
who has spent decades
addicted to accomplishment
can be a scary place.

I cancelled everything.

The launch of a five-month course
I was teaching.

Attending my son's final basketball game
of the season
where he was being presented
with a special trophy.

I even cancelled a
weekend getaway
with my husband,
the second in over a decade.

Self-care, everyone told me.

So I made a list.

I drank warm water and lemon.

Stayed on the couch all day,
without technology,
reading a book.

Ate soup.

Read People magazine.

Two days and
one emergency room trip later
I still felt like crap.
Why wasn't self-care working?

I had done everything on my list.

Frustrated and weak from the virus
I sank into my bed.
And that's when
Do Nothing
arrived.

I stared at the walls for hours
in silence.
Sweat a whole lot.
Listened to yoga nidra
meditation
lying down.
Drifted in and out of
sleep.

I gave up my
self-care list.

Which is when...
you guessed it ...
I began to feel better.

Ever notice how self-care
can sometimes feel like
another "to do" on the
long list?

I used to think doing would
save the planet
and self-care was the
antidote to doing.

Now I know that self-care,
while it can feel good,
isn't the full remedy
when we're sick.

Instead of self-care
what women really need
is cave time.

To truly stop everything.
No reading that book
you always wanted to get to.
No making lists
of what you should be doing
to relax.

Women need to
put down the lists
and just be.

That's the oxygen mask I'm talking about.

The good news is that
you're no longer a
"Woo-Woo" Freak
when you demand cave time.

What seemed ridiculous years ago,
like to meditate
or go on a silent retreat
in your own home,
suddenly makes sense.

There's a scent in the air.
I like to call it
'open and curious.'

When women smell this scent
we have this gut knowing
that it's time to
head into a cave.

Not self care.
The Cave.

Self-care is just
another to-do.

Even if it's just
5,
10,
or 20 minutes per day
of
cave time.

We must have it.

If we don't
eventually our bodies
say enough!

Perhaps that's why
"Everything's great!"
often triggers breakdowns.
Because as every woman
knows
without breakdowns
we won't go to the cave.
We keep on doing.
Even the self-care
kind of doing.
We ignore our gut
to rest.

So thank you
Breakdown.
And failed Self-Care.
You gave me
Cave Time.
The ultimate
Breakthrough.

Do you need some
cave time
too?
I'd love to hear from you below
What does
Cave time
looks like for you?